Monday, April 18, 2011

Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary

One year ago this week, the BP/Macondo well experienced a major blowout, some 50 miles southeast of Port Eads, Louisiana, sinking the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon and killing 11 workers. For the entire summer we watched oil wash up on Gulf Coast beaches. I made a good handful of trips to the coast to photograph the mess; here are some of those images. There is also a feature at the Wonderful Machine blog about my experiences there as well as an oil spill gallery at my main website.

Visiting Grand Isle yesterday, we found that Grand Isle State Park's beaches are still closed, as well as Elmer's Island, and Fourchon Beach, where cleanup is still going on, picking up tar balls from the BP spill, as well as a more recent "minor" spill in Louisiana's West Bay (near Southwest Pass) which happened when a Houston oil company was trying to plug one of their wells.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Grand Isle

Off to Grand Isle tomorrow morning for closing day of this year's juried art exhibition.
I am curious to see how this year's art will reflect the chosen theme, "Land/Currents/Undercurrents" with regards to the BP spill. When I delivered our pieces a few weeks ago, I was hoping to use the afternoon for photography, but the sky was a dull flat grey, and it was certainly no day for photography, so I took a long walk on the beach anyway. They are still cleaning up last year's oil. Tar balls still wash up daily, and the beach is constantly being sifted by these Zamboni-type vehicles that pick up sand and separate out the tar balls or other oily things. The beach appears nice, but you know there's gunk just a few inches below. At least the smell is gone. I wonder if the annual tarpon rodeo will be on this year...